STEM boxes – An Update

Having finished my application for the Discover Primary Science and Maths Award I wanted to update you all on the STEM boxes which I have been using since the start of the year.

Prim-Ed sent me the STEM boxes to use with my class and they have been great and my class have really enjoyed them. The STEM boxes contain cards, these cards are separated into 4 sections which are representative of the Primary Curriculum. Each unit contains a selection of cards which can be used to develop the children’s knowledge, critical thinking and problem solving skills.

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I used these cards towards the end of a unit of work on a particular strand unit/theme. The children worked in groups on different projects from the STEM boxes. As there are multiple copies of each project. Some groups worked on the same project and were able to share ideas and help to identify solutions to other groups. This helped the children to develop their communication skills too. Groups were then asked to present their work to the class, one of our key elements of presentation was the problems that they faced and how they solved them or how others in the class could help to solve them before they revisited the project.

These STEM boxes are available from Infants right up to 6th class. Having worked with the infants teacher who also tried some cards with her class, they worked well. However we are looking at joint projects where my class will act as buddies to the younger children to explore more projects in Term 3.

These STEM boxes are an ideal conclusion to any topic of work. The children can use the cards to work in groups and extend and apply the information they have learned from previous lessons. The resources needed for these cards are usually in the classroom but it is worth checking out the cards first just in case. I hope to allow my class to choose their own card based on a unit of work they liked for a mini science showcase before the end of the year.

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If you have any questions about these cards check out the Prim-Ed site. They also have a PDF which explores how you can use the STEM boxes in your class. Prim-Ed also have books on the STEM approach which may be of interest to you.

If you want further information on how I have used these STEM boxes, please send me a PM.

A.M.

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